Together with representatives from the Westchester County Health Department, the Lower Hudson Valley Perinatal Network, St. John’s Riverside Hospital, Birth from The Earth, Sister to Sister, International and other advocates and providers, County Executive George Latimer announced the Black Maternal Child Health Initiative. The nearly $1M Program, which will be funded though the Health Department, was developed with the goal of improving Black maternal and child health outcomes, reducing racial healthcare inequities, and creating lasting partnerships between key community partners who are focused on ensuring successful birthing practices for all in Westchester County. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Black women are three times more likely to die from a pregnancy-related cause than White women.
Latimer said, “The Black Maternal Child Health Initiative is a three-pronged approach to address something we all know is a problem. It is on us to deepen the conversation about Black maternal health in Westchester County. Through this Program, we will introduce new policies, strengthen our research and analysis, and execute long-term care solutions to ensure health equity across our County.”
Westchester County Commissioner of Health Sherlita Amler, MD, said, “Focusing on health equity and improving health outcomes for all mothers is a very important goal for the Health Department, but especially for Black mothers and babies who are disproportionately affected by economic and racial inequities. We are thrilled to launch this partnership to work together to reduce disparities and to educate, inform and increase healthcare access for County residents as they strive to achieve improved health for themselves and their families.”
Sister to Sister, International Founder Cheryl Brannan said, “We appreciate our partnership with County Executive Latimer and Commissioner Amler at the WCDOH. Funding our community partners will assist in pushing our collective training, education, policy and systems change agenda forward. Systemic change requires that government collaborates with stakeholders that are close to the problem and allocate the necessary resources.”
Lower Hudson Valley Perinatal Network Executive Director Dr. Angela Campbell said, “Children’s Health & Research Foundation (CHRF)/Lower Hudson Valley Perinatal Network (LHVPN) is so grateful and excited to be a part of this birth equity impact program that will expand our prenatal/postpartum home visiting model by creating a Trio-Service-Delivery program. This supportive wellness framework creates Perinatal Stress Free Zones that will provide eligible pregnant people with a birth equity team. This cross-sector partnership matches clients with a Community Health Worker, Lactation Specialist, and a Doula (prenatal/postpartum). LHVPN’s transformational education and support services program aims to address the social determinants of health and equity using a respectful care framework.”
St. John’s Riverside Hospital President & CEO Ron Corti said, “Good health is a great equalizer. But the health of our communities has been proven to be out of balance. Longstanding health inequities that disproportionately impact our communities of color have been magnified by recent community-wide health emergencies. St. John’s number one priority is providing quality patient care, and this generous grant will help us in our goals of improving black maternal and child health outcomes and reducing racial healthcare inequities. We appreciate our partners in securing this grant and thank the County of Westchester for its support.”
Birth from The Earth, Inc. President & Founder Nubia Earth Martin said, “On behalf of Birth from The Earth Inc., we are extremely honored and excited to be an integral part of the positive developments that are taking place to center the needs of birthing families, and expand access to equitable and culturally respectful maternal care.”